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Episode 66: Don't Wait To Go After What You Want with Shannon Mahre

"If I had stopped when I felt defeated, I wouldn't be where I am now." Today we have the brilliant and entrepreneurial Shannon Mahre on the show! Shannon joins us to talk about her three businesses, balancing being a parent while working alongside her spouse, her advice to freelancers, and a diagnosis that changed her life.

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Episode Transcript

Lisa: What's up all you outdoor creatives. Welcome to Outside by Design, the podcast about the business side of creativity in the outdoor industry.

Iris: Welcome to season four, episode 28 with Shannon Mahre.

Lisa: Yeah, I'm Lisa

Iris: and I'm Iris.

Lisa: We work at a creative agency called Wheelie.

Iris: It's pretty great if I have to say so myself.

Lisa: And one of the coolest parts about owning and working on a creative agency is collaboration. And that's why we do this podcast. To talk to tons of different people in the outdoor industry. And this week is no different. We got to talk to the amazing Shannon Mahre.

Iris: Yeah, and man, Shannon has a lot going on. She has three different businesses involving the outdoors and the outdoor industry. She is a coach, a writer, a photographer, and also an all around kick ass person.

Lisa: And a mom.

Iris: A mom, a wife, entrepreneur. She's got all the, all the boxes checked, really.

Lisa: She's got the endurance of a gazelle.

Iris: And she is crushing everything she does. She talks about how she stays focused with all of these different things going on, what it's like to work with your spouse in business, um, her advice to entrepreneurs and freelancers, and also how much her life changed after she was diagnosed with cervical cancer really, really young. Shannon has a lot to say, so let's get to it.

Lisa: Hey Shannon, thank you so much for being here today.

Shannon: Thank you for having me.

Lisa: So the first question we ask everyone is to describe where they are and what they're looking at.

Shannon: At this exact moment?

Lisa: Mhmm.

Shannon: [laughs] I am in our home office in Naches, Washington, which is just west of Yakima, central Washington. And I am... It's actually not a really quite done office. So there's a lot of stuff around me, but it's pretty much the only quiet place in my house ‘cause we have a three year old. So I'm hiding downstairs basically.

Lisa: That's awesome. Yeah. And so for everyone who doesn't know what you do, do you want to tell us kind of who you are and what you do? You're a serial entrepreneur, it seems, with three businesses, so.

Shannon: Yeah. Yeah. So basically I have three businesses with my husband. Uh, one of them, the first one that we started together, I actually started a photography company, um, 10 years ago now. And when I got to go with my husband, um, we got serious, we actually created a media company together called Mahre media. So we do video, photo, writing, um, for a lot of clients, not just local, but all over the world. And before we had our three year old, we did a lot. We still do a lot of work for clients like Eddie Bauer and K2 and travel a lot. But before we had him, we traveled a lot, like pretty much every month we were gone doing a trip for photo and athlete, um, and writing and all that fun stuff. So quite adventurous on that side of things.

And then about four years ago, I started a company called Girls with Grit. And it started out as the mountain bike coaching company because I'm a level two IMBA instructor, and it's morphed into like... I teach, well, my husband and I teach ski clinics, um, stand up paddleboard clinics, trail running clinics, mountain biking clinics. Um, I do some like, conditioning coaching on the side. And for a while, for the first probably three years, my husband just did his athlete stuff and was not really interested in coaching. And then about a year ago, he was like, I really want to start coaching with you. And I was like, yes, like this is what I've been waiting for.

So we started a company called MADE which is Mahre Athletic Development Experience. And basically it's the overarching coaching brand and Girls with Grit now is the, uh, the femme side, I like to say. So it's all the ladies-only clinics I do and stuff. So, so yeah, coaching and writing and photography is my jam every day.

Lisa: That's, that's awesome. Yeah. The word of the month on our podcast is cultivation and it sounds like you and you know, naturally cultivate communities, but, um, that tie in to the creative side of your brain is awesome as well. So, like, what, what comes up for you when you hear the word cultivation?

Shannon: Well, my favorite thing as a coach is to cultivate relationships with... with as many people as I can, that men, women, kids that love the outdoors an/ or want to get more into the outdoors. Um. So I can, you know, teach them anything I know to help them, you know, improve their skills in sports, but also to be support for them, you know, uh, in training in li- in basically lifestyle choices and, you know, also to help them get past their obstacles and overcome their fears. Because I actually have a lot of clients that come to me originally for sports. And then. Come to me afterwards for more of a life coach type of, um, type of support, which I... so I try to cultivate that and be open so that people know that they can come to me for that. Um, and then on the other side.

Cultivating culture through the outdoors and the community that we live in. My husband and I put on on 5K fundraising events in our community to raise money for, uh, the local Lions club. And then the next big one we're doing, we're raising money for four families that are currently battling cancer.

Lisa: Wow.

Shannon: Um, in, in our, uh, in Yakima. And so, you know, cultivating that community to come together for these people that need it, but also making it an outdoor event because it's a - it's actually really cool. It's a, it's a trail run through the hop fields at one of our local breweries at Bale Breaker. So it's, it's getting people outside and getting them, you know, doing something that they normally probably wouldn't do. For a good cause. So. Yeah.

Lisa: That's incredible. You have a lot going on.

Shannon: Yeah, I, yeah, I do. I work, I work every day, but you know, like, uh, I love everything I do and it's really hard to say no to the things you love. And helping people, I mean, I can't say no to that, so.

Lisa: Right, right. What's it like to be in business with your husband?

Shannon: You know, it is amazing. We... you know, obviously there was more rocky spots in the beginning cause like we pretty much- we got married, we, and then we had our kid, and we had one business and now we have three business- actually he's got, my husband also has a construction business. So we have four businesses between the two of us. And it is amazing because he is, he is everything I am not. And I need him and the people that we coach need him because he... he just brings a whole different energy and whole different way of describing things in teaching that I just can't offer.

I'm like this bubbly, like, you know, total kind of a goof ball, but you know, serious what I need to be, but just kind of bubbly out there. And he's, you know, he doesn't say a whole lot, but when he says something, you listen. And so we really work well together. And one of the things that I think, you know, reasons we work well together is cause he, he really focuses a lot more on the actual act of being there. And then I do all the business side. So I do all the social media and I edit all the photos and I, you know, get us out there and do more of the business side. Cause that's. What I went to school for, and then he just shows up and like, rocks it. And then like, he's also in charge of his construction business.

So between that and all the other stuff going on, he doesn't necessarily have time to do, uh, to help me out with that other side. So in the end, we just work really well together and, uh, it's made us a much stronger couple, like having these businesses together too.

Lisa: Nice. I bet tax season is exciting at your house with four businessses.

Shannon: Oh, my gosh. I don't even want to talk about it. It is horrible. It is like, ahh. And we, and we obviously, like, we're self employed and so it's just, you know, it's a headache. Um, but, uh, definitely the time of year that we dread. [laughs] but we have a good accountant.

Lisa: Oh, good.

Shannon: So yeah. [laughs]

Lisa: And I, I think it is so rad and commendable that you have three businesses and you're a mom. Um, how has having a kid kinda changed your perspective on business?

Shannon: You know, it, it's definitely made me realize how much more I can do. Because I can't believe how little I did before I had him, because the amount I do now, after having him, I probably do four or five times the amount of work now than I ever did. And I feel like, you know that saying the load, it's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it. Like, that is huge when I became a mom, because I just realized that I have these things that I have to get done and I want to do, but I need to make time and figure out how to do them. And for me, it's all about scheduling. Like, I get up between 4:00... 3:45 and 4:30 usually every day. And I, that's when I work. And then I train. And then I... my husband, when I get home from training at usually or an eight or whatever. He goes to work and does his construction stuff. If we don't have a coaching clinic. And then I have Ryder all day and I work during his nap and I work, you know, in between our little adventures and learning.

And then when my husband comes home, you know, I do more work if I need to and we... We make it work. And if I have, you know, meetings or photography or like photo shoots where I have a bunch of articles to do for magazines, you know, my husband steps in and he'll be like, Oh, Hey, well I'll have Ryder for half the day and you, and then I'll go work the other half the day. So it's just about communication and, and scheduling. And if you're not a scheduler or a planner, you kind of have to become one.

Lisa: Wow.

Shannon: Yeah.

Lisa: What time do you go to bed?

Shannon: You know, I like to go, I, I'm falling asleep on the couch by like 8:30. Um, but I try to like, after we put Ryder to bed. I try to have, you know, make a little bit of time to hang out with Andy before I go to bed. But sometimes, uh, I don't, I, you know, I make dinner and we have dinner together and then I'm like, okay, peace out. I'm going to bed. I'll see you in the morning. [laughs]

Lisa: That's awesome. What does your training look like in the morning?

Shannon: Um, well, I got into ultra trail running when I was, I mean, I... I really got into it after I had Ryder. Um, and so I either run trail run or I mountain bike in the mornings, um, every morning.

Lisa: Wow.

Shannon: Uh, yeah. So, and then, you know, sometimes on off mornings I'll, you know, I have some weights at my house, so I'll work out here. So yeah, it's either, you know, go to the local trail, get in, you know, 8 or 10 miles, or go to the local track, do some speed work. And then my, uh, like rest recovery rest days, I, uh, I go for like an hour bike ride at our local... There's a really nice local spot where we can, you can get a pretty good climb in and a fun descent, and you're back at your car in an hour and heading home. So yeah.

Lisa: That's cool. Do you always train alone?

Shannon: Um, you know, it's hard to get people up that early in the morning. Uh, I have a few friends that will run with me, uh, early. Uh, my friend Eileen especially, she, like, I can say, let's meet at 3:30 in the morning and she will meet me there. Like, she is there and she's got four kids. Like, she's amazing and, but, uh, her husband's a detective and so she only has certain days of the week she can do that. So. We run on those days together. But otherwise, you know, I have a few friends that will occasionally go on mountain bike rides with me. But yeah, I do a lot of training by myself and Andy and I, my husband, he, all of our dates consist of shredding, either mountain bikes or skis. So.

Lisa: Nice.

Shannon: So yeah, he's like my best training adventure buddy. Cause he totally, he could do... Like, no, he could not bike for like seven months and I'll be training every day and we'll go ride and he'll totally kick my butt the first day. I'm like, you suck, but you're awesome.

Lisa: yes.

Shannon: But like, yeah, like it's insane. So yeah, he's my favorite person to train with, but you know, time for that is a little bit... we don't have as much time for that anymore, but we make time.

Lisa: That's, that's really commendable.

Shannon: Yeah.

Lisa: I like that.

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Lisa: Iris. I really enjoyed this part of the episode where Shannon talks about how until she became a mom, she felt like she did a lot and then she had a kid.

Iris: Yeah.

Lisa: I've been thinking about that ever since I had this conversation with her, because I don't have kids and I feel like I'm at capacity. And then I think about like…

Iris: You're like, I can't even imagine.

Lisa: No, I'm in my thirties and I'm like, Whoa.

Iris: Being responsible for another human as well as your employees and everything else.

Lisa: Keeping a human alive, feeding them all the time.

Iris: Yeah.

Lisa: Yeah. Holy. And still like identifying as an athlete. Holy cow.

Iris: Yeah.

Lisa: Shannon. Superhero.

Iris: She's doing it all and we love working moms.

Lisa: Literally last night I was thinking about that statement because I was exhausted and it was like eight at night, and I had just finished writing a 22 page proposal and then I thought about what Shannon said, and I was like, Whoa, I don't even have a child to keep up with. Like, whew. Shannon, good on you.

Iris: She's crushing it.

Lisa: Crushing.

Iris: Let's hear more from Shannon.

Lisa: So a lot of our listeners are also photographers or journalists or marketing managers. Um, so what is, what's your advice to like-minded people who are kind of like living their business as a lifestyle?

Shannon: Um, you know, that saying like, you know, you write what you know, like that's important. And, uh, if you don't know about something and you want to write about it, learn about it. And never stop learning. Never stop trying to find people and meet people that know more than you, that can teach you. Um, you know, put yourself out there for experiences. I don't know how many times I've been like, Hey, I will come out. Like, when I first started my company, like, I will come out and we'll, you know, do trades. Like, I want this experience. I want to get you some writing and photography and you just gotta practice and get out there. And follow what you love. Because for a while, like when I first got into grad school, I worked for Microsoft and I am not going to lie. Like, I was not a fan. I didn't like what I did there. I did copyright - copy writing for Windows Seven and I didn't like it. It wasn't me. It's not that I wanted to do and the more... I followed my passion, I was like, hey, I want to be a writer and photographer. And I worked three jobs. I worked alongside my dad for years building houses while I got my business going.

And it's just once I followed that passion and followed what I actually loved, that's when I did my best work. And that's when success happened. And that's when the doors started opening. But you just can't... You can't stop working. You know what I mean? Um, and putting everything you have into it.

Lisa: Yeah. You seem incredibly tenacious.

Shannon: Yes. [laughs] I am.

Lisa: Oh, man. So do you, what happens when you get knocked off your routine?

Shannon: Uh, you know, being a mom really helped me with that. Before I had Ryder I definitely was one of those people that kinda got like, Oh, I didn't get a run in today. You know? Like, I kinda got, you know, my attitude would change. Now when you have a kid, you roll with it, you know? And now if I'm like, okay, I can't get a workout in today, or this is switching up, or... you have to be flexible. And becoming a parent has taught me that a million times over. And so when I just get knocked off, I just start over, look at my calendar, look at what I have to do, look at my to do list, and I figured it out because no one else is going to figure it out for me.

Lisa: And do you find that the brands you work with embrace, embrace the fact that you guys are parents? Like, do you take Ryder on any trips or has, has your relationship with brands changed as your family has grown?

Shannon: You know, some of the relationships have changed. Some of the companies that I was sponsored by as an athlete before I had Ryder, a lot of them kind of went radio silent until after I, like, basically got back in shape and started biking and stuff again, which was kind of a bummer. Um, but other companies like Sensi Bikinis, I've been an athlete for them for years.

Lisa: Oh!

Shannon: They're amazing.

Lisa: Yeah!

Shannon: They stuck by me more than any of my brands I work with and we're just, like, sending me suits that fit when I was pregnant and just supporting me 100% of the whole thing. And Victoria and Sensi just like, I can't say enough about those two individuals like they truly are what they say they are, and they truly do represent all women in every season of their life. And I will never forget how amazing they were and how amazing they'd been through every season of my life that I've been through with them.

Um, but yeah, I mean, uh, you know, Eddie Bauer, Andy is sponsored by them and they've been great about, you know, supporting the fact that we are family. And, um, you know, Andy and I do a lot of traveling together because we are athletes and photographers and write. And so we, we can offer that, you know, that cool mix for companies. They're not just getting an athlete or a photographer. They're getting both. Um, but. It's kind of a... we definitely have been looking for more companies to work with that actually do embrace all the facets and all the sides of us that we do offer in that, that we are, ‘cause it's kind of, um, it's kind of interesting how many companies don't embrace... they kind of say the embrace family, but at the end of the day, um, it's not necessarily, uh, you know, the part that they market the most. Um. Which is understandable, um, if that's not their, you know, their focus. But we definitely have had some companies that, um, you know, like Thor Industries we've done, we've done work with them and they really, really support us as a family. They've sent us, you know, on shoots and trips as a family.

And we worked with a lot of, you know, travel and tourism organizations that send us on trips as a family. And to us, those relationships and those experiences means so much more because our son gets to come with us and experience the adventures with us, and that is just pretty amazing.

Lisa: Yeah. Does he love it?

Shannon: Oh my gosh, yes. Like he loves... like I ran with him in my belly all the way til I was, I mean, the day my water broke, I, I rode biked 20 miles and I went for like an eight mile hike. So he has been like... Like he has been active since he came out and we've just been - we had him on the front pack when he was six months old skiing and we, you know, biking, motorcycles, everything. And so anything involved with being outside the kid is like, fully on board. [laughs]

Lisa: That's awesome. And I'm on your website. Are you also a painter? Do you guys, do you have a print shop?

Shannon: Oh, so we have a print shop. We, we print, um, canvases and Andy actually, he wraps them and then creates Barnwood frames for all of them. So a lot of our photos that we have taken over the years, um, we print them up for people if they, if they want some, something cool to put on their walls.

Lisa: Wiw, you guys are, you have your hands in everything.

Shannon: [laughs] We are, we are.

Lisa: It’s amazing.

Shannon: We are quite busy.

Lisa: So, so on that note, is there anything that is a hard no for you? And how have you learned to kind of like make that barometer of what you will and will not say yes to?

Shannon: You know, for me it's all about morals. And I, you know, being in the, um, outdoor industry for many years, uh, I... I've always had a hard time with the party, real party-heavy side of it. Um, because I, I've never really been a big partier. I grew up with a grandpa who was an alcoholic, and I don't, honestly don't even remember him not being drunk. And so for me, that really changed like my views and my focus of, of how I want to live my life. And so. You know, if something is, if a company is very, very, very party heavy or an experience is going to be, you know, very, very, very party heavy. I try to, um... which, my husband and I both tried to make decisions that are kind of best for what we think is going to be, uh, you know, along our morals, but also like what we want to do for the future.

So obviously, um, if an experience is really rad, plus the party side, we definitely go and enjoy it and are mellow about it. But I'm just trying to work with companies and partners that are, that are more focused on, you know, family getting, getting families and getting people outdoors and basically just inspiring people to be the best versions of their self that they can be.

Lisa: That's cool. Is that the same mindset that you bring into your coaching company?

Shannon: It is 100%. Um. You know, I, I just want to be a rock for people, uh, that they can trust and they can go to if they need anything. You know, if they need help mountain biking, skiing, if they need help finding their way, setting goals, um, you know, getting over the fear of mountain biking or skiing and after having a kid, because that's a big one.

Like, it's scary once you have a kid, you're like... I don't want to get hurt. I don't want to die. You know, I just had this kid, you know, I don't want to, it's this fear that, like I would say 99% of the women come to me with after they've had a kid. They're like, I am terrified to bike now. And I never thought I'd be that person. And you know, just being able to be there for people and show them through my actions, uh, that you can get past those things and that I can be here as their rock. In whatever they way they basically need me to be.

Lisa: Wow. Has, um, and I assume you spend a lot of time in the back country, right?

Shannon: I do. Yes.

Lisa: Like, skiing, has, um, has backcountry skiing changed for you because - after you had a kid?

Shannon: You know, it has, I, um, I definitely... I am, I mean, I was very cautious before, but now I'm even more cautious. Um, especially being a photographer is, you know, you, you tend to sometimes get in situations that aren't exactly the best places to be in.

Um, but my husband and I definitely, you know, working together, um, we, we always do it safe and what's best, and that's the best for, like, you know, the safety of the group and the safety of us as individuals. And that's more important than getting the shot. Um. But yeah, I would say both my husband and I, definitely, our views and our actions in the back country have definitely become even more safe now that we have Ryder.

Lisa: And it's cool that you haven't given that up or decided that you weren't going to go in the back country anymore.

Shannon: Yes. Yeah. Yeah that's definitely not really - that never really crossed our minds.

Lisa: That's awesome. Yeah. Yeah. That's one I watch a lot of my friends grapple with is, you know, being passionate backcountry skiers and then kind of having those values change a little bit as they grow a family.

Shannon: Yeah. It's a tough one to deal with for sure.

Lisa: Do you take your kid into the backcountry?

Shannon: We have taken, we have not taken him in the back country yet here at White here yet. We've taken him like on little side country kind of stuff. Um, but we, you know, White Pass, there's not a ton of super mellow backcountry. Um, so it's a little bit more sketchy. I would just say.

Lisa: yeah.

Shannon: It's not like when you go to Baker and you can kind of tour out and kind of be in some really mellow areas. Um, you know, at the blueberry side, it's, there's some great stuff out there you can kind of go and take kids and stuff, but, um, White pass, it's, you're pretty much just, once you're out of bounds, you're out of bounds. So, yeah.

Lisa: Yeah, yeah.

Ad Break: Say Lisa / what's that Iris? / There are some bad websites on the Internet. / Seriously. There are a lot of websites that look like they were around when the internet first started. / which is from before I was born. / I was... I was alive, but Iris wasn't. / I was not. So if your website was or just appears to be from before I was born, you probably need a new one. / There are lots of companies out there where you can build a simple website on the Internet by dragging and dropping pre-made items into a website template. / Yeah, or if you're a busy business owner and CEO and you have a billion different things on your plate, you don't want to have to build your own site from scratch. You can hire a pretty great creative agency to do it for you. / In fact, I heard it's where people who thrive outside go when they need new websites and creative services. It's a place called Wheelie. / Like a bike doing a wheelie. / And that's where you can get all the services your business needs in the branding and creative industry. So websites, graphic design, video, strategy, social media, all the things, all the good things and it's so much fun. They're the smartest people I know. So your website looks younger than Iris.

Lisa: Alright, Iris. That was a good section of podcast. I like kind of, I like how she owns the lack of party vibes.

Iris: We talk about that here sometimes. How that's a really big side of the outdoor industry.

Lisa: It is a really big side of the outdoor industry and we don't really party that hard as a company, but people kind of assume we do and that's like such a big part of the culture and we find that to be funny. We talk about it all the time.

Iris: Mhmm.

Lisa: People think we party all the time and we really don't.

Iris: We really don't.

Lisa: So in this next section of the podcast, it gets a little bit more real, a little more serious, and it's definitely something I've been thinking a lot about lately is when life forces you to change, like you don't make the change, but something happens that then forces change and how you get to choose how you respond to that.

Iris: Yeah. Let's let Shannon tell her story.

Lisa: Cool. So what else, um, would you like to tell our audience that I haven't asked you about?

Shannon: Well, one of the big things that I, you know, I'm a... I am... I was the conditioning coach for a local YVC, a community college soccer girls team. And I had a big talk with them recently before their - their school started. We'd been, we'd been training and, um... And I knew that school was coming and a lot of them hadn't been in college yet. And they, you know, they hadn't experienced the whole living alone and partying and, um, you know, I just kinda told them about my story and, and that kind of is that, you know, through college, I, I was always kind of that person that... I worked out every morning and I went, I made my schedule so that I had evening classes so I could ski every day cause I went to Western Washington so I could go to Baker every day. [laughs] And I, you know, I went to parties sometimes, but it wasn't a thing that I focused on. Um, I always was pretty healthy, but you know, didn't necessarily take care of myself probably as good as I should have. And then my senior year of college. I was, it was a week before finals, and I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. And I went into surgery that next week. Got it all taken out. So I basically, I didn't have to go through chemo or anything, which was great. And then I had finals and I graduated, and then I started grad school like two weeks later.

Lisa: Woah.

Shannon: And, yeah. So for me, um, you know... Having cancer that young, you know, you... it changes you. And it, I mean, cancer changes you at any time of your life. But it, for me, it was like, it just, I was determined and driven before, but I was like four times more driven and determined after. And it took me, it took that happening for me to really, you know, figure out what I needed to be healthy, what I wanted to do, that I wanted to follow my passions. And then if I wasn't happy in a job that I was going to find a job I was happy in. And you know, by 22 years old, I had my master's degree and I'd done it, but working full time, like managing a Volcom store. Like it's, it's figuring out, like, what you want and not waiting for some huge life event to come and basically almost destroy your life for you to figure out what you really want and what you need to do. And, um, you know, I just try to, I try to teach my students that and my clients that and any of my followers that as much as I can, because we're all here and we all have a purpose and we all have the ability to follow our passions and our dreams. But if you aren't willing to put in the work and make that a priority, you're never, it's never going to happen. Right? And you know, you can't, you just can't wait for something like that to happen to you for you to actually, like, get on course. You need to get on course as soon as possible. So.

Lisa: Wow.

Shannon: Yeah.

Lisa: That was a knowledge bomb. Wow. I, yeah. I can't even imagine how much that experience, um, really, really clarified priorities for you.

Shannon: Oh, yeah. And you know, and that's one of the reasons why Ryder has been such, this like, huge blessing for us. Like. I mean, we didn't know if we could get pregnant. We wouldn't know if I could carry full term. We didn't know anything. And you know, he, he's just like a light of our life. And yeah. So, when people like don't want to include family in, uh... It's always, you know, it's all good. We have a lot of clients and sponsors that don't necessarily want to include family, but that's why when we do have requests to do trips with our family or to work with a company that is focused on family and, and that side of things, and they really embrace it, like we are on board 100%. Because to us like that is the number one thing in our life, like 100%.

Lisa: Wow. Did you know your husband in college? Did you guys... Did he know you when you were going through that?

Shannon: No.

Lisa: no?

Shannon: Actually, it's a really funny story, when I met Andy. So I grew up skiing and, but I was never one of those people that like, you know, knew who pros were or anything. And so I was... my friend who was pregnant at the time, I was living up at a Glacier. By Mount Baker. And she was down in Seattle and she's like, I really need your help with this raffle, like these giving out raffle tickets at this ski movie premier. And I was like, I really don't want to go. ‘Cause I went the year before and I had been kind of like, some of the pros had been like flinging rubber bands at my butt and stuff and I was like really annoyed and I was like, I don't want to go back. Like, you know, and I'm going, I was planning on moving to Whistler the next day to go mountain bike. So I was like, no, I don't really want to go. And she's like, please, I really need you. I'm pregnant. I'm like, okay. So she dropped the pregnant bomb on me. I'm like, okay, fine. I'll come down.

So I drove down to this, you know, this ski movie premiere. And I'm helping with raffle tickets and this guy with like dirty Carhartts and kind of a dirty hat and a hoodie comes over and starts like helping me with the raffle tickets. And if you've been to, you've been to one of those premieres, you know how many kids there are, like freaking out at those raffles.

So he's helped me with the raffles and I'm like, okay, cool. He must like, work here, you know, or be a volunteer like me. So he helps me with that or whatever. And then, um. After the, we were done with the raffles, the movie was starting and they were like, hey, you can go get a drink if you want and then you know you can, you can leave.

And I was like, perfect. ‘Cause I was like, that's great ‘cause I can go up and, you know, I can drive back home and get ready to go mountain biking tomorrow. So I go up to the, to the bar and get a drink and I'm like hanging out in there. And I, at the time I was skiing for Solomon and I didn't, uh, like, I couldn't, my manager was there, but I couldn't find him. But the only guy that I like recognized in the bar was this guy that helped with the raffle tickets. So I go over and was like, okay. So we started talking and we talked the whole movie about mountain biking and skiing and family and riding dirt bikes and everything, like basically just, that's all we talked about. Was how much we loved, pretty much all the same things that were outdoor related. And it was awesome.

And, um, you know, like stayed in touch after that or whatever. And, uh. I remember going home and my mom was like, Oh, did you meet anyone? I was like, yeah, I met this guy named Andy. She's like, what's his last name? I was like, I don't know. He didn't really tell me his last name, you know? I was like, cool. And so, uh, we totally fell in love with each other. And then after we fell for each other, he was like, you know, told me about that he was a pro skier and about his dad and uncle in the Olympics and blah, blah, blah. And I was like, you know, I'm really glad you didn't start out with that because I don't think we would be where we are, you know?

And it was cool cause we both fell for each other for who we were and not who people thought, you know, what people, other people may have thought we were or who we were. And so it was really cool. I think one of the reasons he actually liked me was because I didn't know who he was, you know? And there wasn't that stigma of, uh, I just knew Andy for Andy. I knew Andy for the country boy who grew up in Yakima that loved family and loved all the things I did, and he knew me for the same. So, um, so yeah, and that was the beginning of four businesses and a kid and a marriage and a life of adventure. So.

Lisa: That's a great story.

Shannon: Yeah.

Lisa: I love that. And so in closing, like is there any advice that you would leave our listeners with for cultivating creativity and for following their dreams?

Shannon: You know, first I think it's finding out what your dreams are. And - ‘cause sometimes it's like, Oh, I like this, I like this, I like this. But really narrowing down what you like and what a job in that field or in that area could be. And then just meeting people. Like I said before, meeting people and being open and being the same person you are to your spouse and your friends to everybody else. Because being real and actually like opening yourself up is, is huge to me.

Like, I know some people are very closed and I am not, like, if you ask me a question, I'm going to answer the question honestly, because I think being open about, you know, the good, the bad, the fears, everything. Like, that's how we, that's how we can connect with people. And that's how people, we can inspire people. And - because otherwise, I mean, I think my biggest thing is like, there are so many people out there that are going through the same things as you and you just don't know it because... unless you talk about it, right? And unless you need- ask for help or, you know. I, if I meet somebody like you or another woman or man that I'm inspired by, I reach out to them and I'm like, Oh my gosh, I love what you do. You know, tell me more. Tell me how you do it. Tell me what you do. I want to get to know you. Because learning... learning is like the number one. I would just say, don't stop learning and don't stop being open. Because, um, with those two things and in your hand, like you'll get anywhere you want.

And also, I can't tell you how many times I have had people say no to me. Companies say, nope, I don't want anything to do with you. I don't like, you know, you're not what we need. Or just the whole never, never getting an email response back - thousands of times. But if I'd stopped any point along that way because I felt like defeated, I would never be where I am now. And you just can't give up.

Lisa: Ah, that's, that's wonderful. Thank you so much for your time and for sharing all your words of wisdom with us and, um, I really appreciate it.

Shannon: Thank you so much for having me. It was great to meet you.

Lisa: And where can people follow you online? Um, Instagram, it's, uh, @ShannonMahre, um, or @girlswithgritnw or @mahremedia or at @mahremade and then, you know, all the websites for those, uh, should be on Instagram on those accounts.

Lisa: That's perfect. And we'll put a link in the show notes. Well, thank you so much for your time and for sharing all your words, wisdom with us, and I really appreciate it.

Shannon: Great. Well, thank you.

Iris: Wow, Shannon, I learned a lot about you listening to this podcast and I'm sure our listeners did too. Thank you so much for being on the show. This was a great one.

Lisa: Yeah. Shannon, it was wonderful to get to know you and I can't wait to meet you in person and go skiing with you sometime.

Iris: Heck yeah. And to you listeners out there, if you would like to leave us a review on iTunes, we'd really appreciate it. It helps get the show to more listeners just like you.

And with that, we'll see you next week.

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